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When I started working in ESS/MSS, I would often wonder at the broad offerings of this package, a system that completely automates all the HR processes as per requirement. However there would often be reported cases of missing workitems or incorrect workitems in manager’s inbox which would make life a little difficult for the users.

I dug further and realized that Workflows form an indispensible arm of this package and to be a good ESS/MSS consultant we need to be well conversant in Workflow. I honestly don’t want to scare you but this is the basic truth and loads of cobwebs in the working of ESS/MSS get resolved when you understand the flow of the process.

Some of the common aspects of workflow that we need to be careful is:

  1. Agent assignment – One good example would be, employee has sent the leave request or expense request but manager has not received it. The first step would be to check the agent assignment of the used workflow template and task, whether they have been set to ‘General Task’. If not then the workitems will never reach the intended manager’s inbox and the process gets stopped.
  2. Users not able to start workflow : This is another problem which occurs when the agent assignment has not been set to ‘GENERAL TASK’ for workflow templates.
  3. Triggering events – For trip workflow WS20000040, the triggering events needs to be activated. For this purpose, the BOR object BUS2089 is used with event ‘CREATE’. But often I see complaints in forums from consultants stating that the trip workflow is not getting triggered.
  4. Organizational  structure – Most of the workflows are intended to send workitems into the manager’s inbox. For this reason, the chief relationship has to be setup properly in OM i.e relation (A 012 between chief’s position and orgunit). For Example, there may be often cases when the Record Working Time Workflow does not get triggered even the configuration of the CATS profile is correct. The standard task for RWT (TS31000007) does not get triggered unless it is able to detect the chief of the user from the OM config.
  5. Workflow for the highest position – This is one requirement which I came across in our project where the workitems of the CEO (chief of the highest position) has to be routed to a manager below him. We offered the solution of making the CEO’s position report to a position below him (position to position relationship).
  6. Two managers in 1 position/2 chief positions in 1 org unit – Trust me these are 2 problems which bug me the most! I try my level best to convince my clients to go for 1 chief/1 position/1org unit but in the age of Job sharing often we come across the above mentioned scenarios. The problem that occurs is, even though there are 2 managers in one org unit, one manager receives all the workitem and the other keeps cursing the process.One obvious solution would be setup one manager as the substitute of the other manager however this would mean that the substitute manager will be able to see the other manager’s personal workitems too which is not very desirable. So for this case, the workflows have to re-designed, The system needs to check all the manager of the org unit and not stop at the first manager (manager with a higher priority) and send workitems to both the managers. When one workitem is completed, the other lying in another manager’s inbox should get logically deleted. But this is one work that should be ascertained during the blueprinting and the workflows designed accordingly.
  7. Workflows controlled through BADIs : There are many BADIs like PT_Gen_REQ for Leave request or HRCATS_APPR_CUST for Record working time can be used to refine Workflow settings.

Some standard workflows being used in ESS/MSS :

  1. Leave Request Approval and Cancellation : WS12300111
  2. Travel Request : WS20000050
  3. Trip Request : WS20000040
  4. Record Working time : TS31000007

 

Well for today, this is enough and I am sure there are so many more scenarios that you come across….So let me know some that keep haunting you.

For detailed workflow check, http://help.sap.com/  and for issue resolution, there is the always our very own SDN.

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6 Comments

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  1. Yash G
    I can relate to you very well. Indeed, my first Self-Service project was highly focused around Workflows.

    You may want to focus on following in your next post:

    1. Sending Task to Administrator – Commonly asked to route the task to HR of the employee.
    2. Sending Notifications/Emails – If there is no notification for a particular task, how do you attach notification.
    3. Substitutions – Importance, Usage and Limitations
    4. A toubleshooting guide of Workflow for Go-Live Support – Often you are asked by users, where is my workitem or at what stage is it? Especially in Travel and Expense Management cases.

    BTW, nice work! I would like to see more of such technical posts.

    (0) 
    1. Pinki Goswami Post author
      Hi Yash,

      Thanks for the recommendations!

      Even I was planning on writing a blog on the Workflow troubleshooting and UWL configuration to assist the Workflow.

      (0) 
      1. All NorthgateArinso
        Hello,

        Very interesting post! Congratulations!

        I would be also interested into the following issues:

        1. Substitutions – Importance, Usage and Limitations
        2. Record Working Time WF case

        Miguel Angel.

        (0) 
  2. Mohammed Kaleemullah
    Hello Pinky,

    Is it possible to trigger a Pop-up in Managers system (MSS) whenever a new Leave request arrives from a Employee’s system (ESS).

    Please give a clue on how to solve this requirement.

    Thanx

    (0) 

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